Why does it seem that some people live in a dream, while others have no idea what they want in life? Did you ever notice, at a party, how one friend would go on about her aspirations, her current success and some goals for the next year, while another friend would always respond with “same old” to most of your questions about her? The difference in their lives can be because the first friend knows what she likes and wants to do because she takes the time to reflect and plan, while the other friend is just going with the flow. While it is so easy and does not take much time, most people do not do it and then they pay for it. What if I told you that your life would be more meaningful and exciting if you would spend two hours a year doing it? Sounds good to me. Many people do not know what they want and that’s okay, as long as there is a will to find out. The easiest way to do it is to create a Vision Board.
Long time ago, when I didn’t know what vision board was, I would browse through books and posts, looking for the secrets to success. In one blog post, someone said how creating a vision board added a meaning to their life and made their dreams come true. Yea, right – I thought, this doesn’t work like that. I read about a guy who found a magazine picture of his dream house and he cut it out and attached to his vision board, and he forgot about it until one day when he actually bought THIS house. Then I read another book, and vision boards were there too.
So I tried creating one, and the first one took me a week to make because I didn’t know what I want. Well, back then, I had one goal in mind – to get good grades to make it to next year of university. So I got an idea of using internet and magazines for my aid to give my ideas for things I like. Slowly and surely I made my first vision board. It included pictures of places I was dreaming of visiting, pictures of clothes I was hoping to own, pictures of people that inspired me, some quotes, and my goals for the year. I was surprised but by the end of the year, I did check out some items off my vision board. On the vision board that I made for the next year, I checked out some more items.
Slowly but surely, I developed a tradition that I now religiously follow – I collect magazines all year, and in December I spend time thinking about my goals for the next year. Some things that I didn’t check out as planned I would cut and paste to the vision board for the next year. I would place the vision board above my desk so that every time I sit down to work on something, I would directly look at my goals. I would add some things throughout the year, but the vision boards started giving me the guidelines for the year. Here is what I learned from my vision board activity:
- While it is lovely to dream, items that are TOO dreamy should not be on the board because they made the whole exercise pointless. The things that go on the board should inspire you, make you excited and they should be realistic. While I may one day go to Italy, for example, becoming friends with one of celebrities is not going to happen.
- I noticed that the items on my boards transitioned from being dreamy to becoming plans. Every check mark that I placed on a vision board when I achieved any goals/got any items listed felt like a real milestone, and it was.
- Be specific – try to find the exact pictures of things you want. There is a reason – your mind would memorize the images that you are exposed to, and you will feel a bigger drive to go and get things that are on your list, you will feel more brave and energetic.
- To ensure that your vision board is meaningful, you can use Feng Shui principles and divide it into sectors to ensure that you address every aspect of your life:
- Wealth and Prosperity,
- Fame and Reputation,
- Marriage and Relationships,
- New Beginnings and Family,
- Health, Children,
- Joy and the Future,
- Knowledge and Self-Cultivation,
- Career and Life Journey, and
- Travel and Helpful Friends.
- Most importantly is that your Vision Board has to reflect what YOU truly and deeply want to have in your life, not what you think others want you to have. You live your life, not somebody else’s.
It’s been more than 5 years since I started doing Vision Boards, and here some items that I checked off from my dream lists (because vision board does not create to-do list, it creates inspiring Dream Lists):
- Got accepted to my dream university into my dream program and graduated from it
- Got accepted into graduate school
- Got a job in a government that is related to my field of studies
- Met my soul mate
- Traveled to France (Paris was my dream destination for a long time)
- Had a beautiful wedding of my dreams
- Got an apartment of my dreams, in the area where I dreamed to live (twice, because my outlook on life changes)
- Got my own office space (it does sound like a dream if you live in a condo)
How to create your Vision Board
- Use Feng Shui sections as guidelines to create your first vision board
- Start small- break down your goals into small, achievable steps. For example, to get into graduate school, I needed to get good grades first. So I would write down specific grades I needed to get this year and that was enough.
- Take a poster paper or just a big sheet of paper if you do not have a board. I just attach two pieces of printing paper with a tape.
- Make a vision board for a year- you evolve and develop and your priorities and worldview changes a lot. What I liked yesterday I may not like tomorrow, and it is fine. In strategy we call it a Roadmap – a list of activities across the timeline. Alternatively, you can just have a deadline (e.g. March 2017).
- Include “treats” on your vision board – items that are there just to make you happy. While it is nice to have a direction in life and specific goals, you need to boost your energy and confidence, and including little treats is the best way. For example, I included specific perfume on my first vision board. One day I was walking through the store and I saw this very perfume, and buying it made me happy because I felt that I could actually check out some items from my vision board, which meant that I could possibly check out the other, harder ones too (and I did).
- Do not limit yourself, do not focus on barriers. If you see a picture of a perfect house and you are currently short on money – keep the picture. You may not achieve it this year, but this picture will work as a reminder for you, and you may actually make significant adjustments to your lifestyle and save some money and get this item check off in few years.
- Use magazines and internet for pictures. It is important to have a visual of something that you like so it will be more meaningful than just words. However, some goals do not have pictures so just write them down, and it feels amazing checking them off.
- Include inspirational quotes, good horoscopes or posts that inspire you and bring the best out of you.
- You can include images of things you want to have and people you want to be (for instance, a picture of a confident celebrity if you want to become more confident, or a picture of someone happy driving a car if you want to learn to drive).
Here are some examples of vision boards that I got from internet to give you an idea: